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25% increase in SMarT funding announced

The UK Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, announced on 9 September 2013 a 25% increase in Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) funding.

Shipping remains a growth industry in the UK and gross tonnage has more than trebled on the UK shipping register over the past decade. Employment in shipping has doubled from 73,000 in 2004 to 146,000 in 2011.

In order to ensure that the UK continues to have the skills and expertise needed to keep its place as a leading maritime centre, Mr McLoughlin announced that the £12m a year budget for the government’s SMarT programme would receive a boost of up to £3m a year, an increase of 25%, over the Spending Review period to the end of 2015/16. This would support up to an additional 200 trainees a year.

The Department of Transport and UK Maritime have also today published a booklet, Open for Maritime Business, which highlights the depth of expertise and history offered by the UK across a full spectrum of maritime services and Strategic Partnership Plans for ports and shipping. These identify key priorities for maintaining a vibrant, quality and sustainable shipping industry and a thriving UK ports industry. By working in partnership, government, industry and other stakeholders can together ensure that that the maritime sector in the UK continues to grow.

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